Its almost time. On Monday 12th of September I set off on my nomadic climbing pilgrimage, first ranging the east coast of Majorca, then wandering the forests of Fontainebleau with my trusty hammock.
Been super busy with work the last couple of months but managed to sneak some good little trips in preparation;
A little 2 day trip to Dinas Rock in South Wales, a beautiful wooded gorge with some stunning rock architecture, amazing sport routes (the classic Berlin 7a+, which was my first route on real rock since before the ankle-break), particularly on the Main Wall and Lower Cave, and some brilliant bouldering on the bottom of Kennelgarth Wall, reminiscent of the wonderful Pantymwyn Gorge (also went there and got SPANKED on Thug Mentality, but as a wise man once said, the only true failure is a failure you don't learn anything from. I learned that if you keep failing on the last move, find a better way of doing it before you get too spent trying it from the start. Ah well, next time!).
Lower Cave - to get a sense of scale, the small left hand cave is actually about 10 metres high and 10 metres deep, with a handful of amazing-looking sport routes!
Really good online guide to Dinas Rock on here with some great pics and vids too! http://www.southwalesmountaineering.org.uk/g_book/index.php/Dinas_Rock
Also had a great bouldering trip with the King! Me n Kieran went to visit Alberto and Lo-pez for some North Wales Bouldering action! After a morning of thrashing ourselves and making some good progress on the first couple of moves of Bus Stop (V9, but was pissing rain so the lip of the Jerrys Roof boulder was gopping) we proceeded to ruin ourselves further with an evening session at the Indy Wall, which has some brilliantly set problems (as always), with the Wad that is Alex Mason setting some wicked funky-tech problems to shoot down many a strong-man. It makes him feel better about being weak ;-)
Then, with our skin tender and arms spent, we dragged ourselves to the Pass once more with slightly tentative ambition, but through sheer determination Ki and I both managed to bag The Sting (a very cool lone problem with some thin and frustating moves at V9, tick!) and then Room to Swing a Katz, the hardest V6 I've ever done, with an obscenely tensiony move, awesome! As a note, the first ascentionist of this problem, Mark Katz, is a real inspiration. So often I hear grumbles from short people about not being able to reach or saying that tall people have it easy. Mark's minimal stature hasn't stopped him crushing some ridiculously hard problems and big moves; he just embraces the dynamic movement. Watch him doing rockatrocity on amateur hardcore to get an idea of his beastyness (available on vimeo if you haven't seen it). You may not be able to get taller, but you can always get dynamic. But thats off on a bit of a tangent.
Anyway, that little update brings me to the present; I'm working regularly at the wall so managing to get lots of little indoor training sessions in - feeling primed and ready to rock! My absolute sympathies to everyone stuck at work or starting back at uni this September while I'm off galavanting on the continent, but this trip is a long overdue, so forgive me for feeling just the tiniest bit smug...